An exotic fruit grown in the Amazon rainforest has been shown to speed up metabolism and reduce weight gain.
The Canadian researchers believe the fruit could be used to help fight obesity and type 2 diabetes, but with this study based on mice findings, more research will be required to support this theory.
The camu camu is a nutritional powerhouse which can positively influence gut bacteria. It is packed full of polyphenols, compounds which can benefit health and may play a role in reducing weight and improving insulin resistance.
It also has high levels of antioxidants and contains 20-30 times more vitamin C per 100g than the kiwi fruit.
A research team from the Universite Laval’s Faculty of Medicine in Canada wanted to further investigate the benefits of this reddish-purple fruit. Their trial involved two groups of mice which were fed mice a high-calorie, high-sugar diet for eight weeks. But, half of the animals were also given camu camu extract every day over the course of the study.
The findings showed the mice that had been given the camu camu extract gained 50% less weight that the group that did not receive the extract. There were also significant improvements in insulin resistance, blood sugar levels and gut inflammation.
It is thought the Amazonian berry might boost metabolism, even during rest periods, which is why it might help encourage weight loss.
Study author Dr Andre Marette said: “The consumption of fruits is strongly associated with better health and higher bacterial diversity in the gut microbiota. Camu camu is an Amazonian fruit with a unique phytochemical profile, strong antioxidant potential and purported anti-inflammatory potential.”
Despite the positive effects the fruit has provided in the trial, fruit can be a tricky dietary element for people at risk of diabetes or those with existing diabetes. Some fruits contain more sugar than others, so moderation is often required with higher carb fruits. For more information visit our Low Carb Program.
Whilst the effect of the camu camu extract has shown significant promise in the mouse study, it is as yet unknown whether significant effects would be observed in humans.
The results appear online in the journal Gut.

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